The I-40 bridge reopens to the excitement of Memphis business leaders, passengers

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“The trucking industry has lost a lot with us being the third busiest trucking corridor in the country. So many goods and services come here and then go out from there,” said Robertson. CEO and President of the Greater Memphis Chamber, Beverly Robertson, says this is big news for local businesses.  Robertson says due to the traffic delays that have occurred on the I-55 bridge as a direct result of the I-40 closure, businesses have suffered great financial losses.

This is big news not just for those who commute across the bridge but for businesses in Tennessee and Arkansas. TDOT says the westbound lanes are still scheduled to reopen on August 6, but there’s a possibility they could reopen sooner.

Crews spent the day clearing and re-striping the bridge to prepare for the drivers who’ve been waiting to utilize the bridge again. The CEO and President of the Greater Memphis Chamber told WREG-TV this is a huge deal since the supply chain is driven greatly by access to transportation. The bridge was scheduled to open Monday, but the Tennessee Department of Transportation says contractors were ahead of schedule allowing for the eastbound lanes to open Saturday night.

“I think many of these businesses are looking at that and trying to identify what plans they need to put in place to ensure that they can mitigate any negative impact from a bridge closure,” said Robertson. Even though the bridge has reopened, a representative with TDOT says it is still an active work zone.  A TDOT spokeswoman recently said starting in 2022 work on Crump boulevard leading up to the I-55 bridge will begin, and it’s unclear how much that will impact the Old Bridge or traffic. 

TDOT says all interstate traffic in the Memphis area is still being diverted to I-55 until the westbound lanes reopen. “We’ll be able to see probably within the next month a significant bounceback. I think what has happened is that people had to adjust so the supply chain slowed,” said Robertson.

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  • The I-40 bridge reopens to the excitement of Memphis business leaders, passengers
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